Animal Obituaries

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2001:
Noah, a two-day old Asian gaur cloned from a single gaur cell implanted into a cow’s egg, died from common dysentery on January 10 at TransOva Genetics, of Des Moines, Iowa. Noah was the first successfully cloned member of an endangered species.

Rachel, 11, a Weimeraner search dog trained by now-American Humane Association emergency relief manager Kathy Albrecht while Albrecht was a police dog handler, and handled in recent years by pet detective Becky Hiatt, was euthanized due to an inoperable brain tumor on January 8. In 96 investigations, Albrecht recalled, Rachel found 18 cats, 13 dogs, and physical evidence relevant to 14 other cases.

Medusa, 17, a sloth bear on loan to the Toledo Zoo from the Detroit Zoo, died on December 4 of dehydration and starvation, 21 days after curator Tim French wrongly guessed she was pregnant and isolated her without food or water in hopes she would hibernate. Sloth bears, however, do not hibernate in pregnancy. French resigned on December 15. The USDA is reportedly still considering whether to charge the zoo with violating the Animal Welfare Act.

Kala, 2, an Asian elephant brought to Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, California from the Dickerson Park zoo in
Springfield, Missouri during May 2000, died on November 29 from endothelial inclusion body disease, a form of herpes virus which has killed at least nine U.S. zoo elephants in the past 15 years. Representatives of PETA and In Defense of Animals had warned that Kala was approximately three years too young to be safely separated from his mother.

Lily, five months, an Atlantic bottlehose dolphin born at the Oklahoma City Zoo, died suddenly on November 3, five months after the zoo lost another five-month-old dolphin infant to a Streptococcus zooepidemicus bacterial infection.

Frisky, 17, the tomcat chosen from among 10,000 applicants in 1990 to stroll across Jack Duckworth’s pigeon loft in updated opening credits of the 40-odd-year-old British serial drama Coronation Street, died on November 14 from cancer. Frisky succeeded a nameless ginger tom who appeared in the “Corrie” opening credits for 14 years.

Major, 12, an African lion euthanized at the Newquay Zoo in Cornwall during August 2000 due to a back injury suffered in fighting another lion, had feline spongiform encephalopathy, the British Ministry of Agriculture revealed on November 15. FSE is the feline equivalent of “mad cow disease.”

Ken Allen, 29, a Borean orangutan noted for achieving nine escapes from the San Diego Zoo during the 1980s, including on one occasion when he teamed up to escape with his mate Vickie, was euthanized on November 29 due to advanced and painful cancer. Ken Allen was named for zookeeper Ken Willing-ham and security officer Ben Allen, who rescued him as an infant when his mother first neglected him, then sat on him.

Tammie, 41, a gorilla who broke out of the Little Rock Zoo with her mate, Rocky, in 1997, died at the zoo on November 23. How Tammie and Rocky got out of their enclosure was never quite resolved. Recapturing them, however, was no problem, as they headed to the zookeepers’ food preparation area and snacked on apples until found.

Congo, the African elephant who starred with the late John Wayne in the 1961 film Hatari, died suddenly on November 10 at the Western Plains Zoo in Dubba, Australia.

Cam Knows Best, 5, standardbred racehorse who matched the world record for the 5/8 mile in April 2000 after setting the 1-1/16th mile record in May 1999, was best known among 20 horses who were killed in a November 24 fire at Gaitway Farm in Manalapan, New Jersey. The fire was caused by a portable electric water heater.

Bunny, 5, roof dog of the Nath/Buddhiraju family in Visakhapatnam, India (see page one), died on December 25 from a post-surgical infection.

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